Tuesday, 25 March 2014


I did a review of the Swiss and India maps the other day, so thought I would follow that up with the other two maps in my collection - The Heart of Africa map and the Asia maps

So a quick Review of Ticket To Ride - Heart of Africa map

Have played this map a number of times now, it is a 2-5 player game, and have played with regularly with 3 players and 2 players and once with 5 players - the later being most chaotic as the single routes are quickly claimed leaving everyone bridging gaps in their lines rather quickly so not to be left in the lurch. Its best with 3 or 4 players we find. You the start of the game with 4 Destination Tickets, of which he must keep at least 2. During the game you can draw new additional Destination Tickets as normal, but he draws 4 new Tickets, of which he must keep at least 1. 

The Africa map - note all the desert routes on the top and bottom, with jungle
in the middle, and mountain routes on the edges of the board

This expansion is quite unique as it also introduces new Terrain Cards which are divided into 3 different terrain types, each terrain type is associated with 3 different Route colors as follows:
◆Desert & Savanna cards: Yellow, Orange & Red Routes
◆Jungle & Forest cards: Purple, Blue & Green Routes
◆Mountain & Cliff cards:White,Grey & Black Routes
Only one small problem one will note when playing for the first time, as you can quickly determine where each player is roughly going as to the cards he/she collects - maybe should of been a few more grey routes (which is a set of any colour for the route) in the middle to throw people of the scent perhaps.
At the start of the game, each player receives 1 random Terrain card, in addition to his 4 Destination Tickets and 4 Train Car cards. Another 2 Terrain cards are placed face up, within easy access to the players; the remaining cards form a Terrain deck placed face down next to these two.

The different terrain cards

During the game, anytime a player is allowed to draw a Train Car card, he may choose to draw a Terrain card instead. So when Drawing cards for his turn, a player may draw 2 Train Car cards; or draw 2 Terrain cards; or draw 1 Train Car card and 1 Terrain card. The standard Ticket to Ride rule regarding the picking
of Locomotives face up still applies. Terrain cards picked face up are immediately replaced with new ones drawn from the deck, just like with Train Car cards. A player may also choose to draw Terrain cards blindly from the top of the deck. Unlike Train Car cards, when drawn, Terrain cards are placed face up in front of the player, sorted by Terrain type and slightly offset from each other, to make it clear to others how many Terrain cards of each type each player has.

When Claiming a Route, in addition to playing Train car cards a player may also simultaneously play some of the Terrain cards in front of him to double the points value of the Route he’s claiming. 
◆ The Terrain card(s) played must match the color of the Route claimed
◆ The player must have in front of him at least as many cards of that Terrain type as any other player. The number of Terrain card(s) that must be played to double the Route value depends on the length of the Route claimed:
1, 2 and 3 space routes 1 Terrain card of matching color
4, 5 and 6 space routes 2 Terrain cards of matching color
The number of plastic trains placed on the Route claimed remains the same as when its Points value isn't doubled. Terrain Cards are discarded when played; and the discards reshuffled into a new Terrain deck when the deck runs out. Terrain cards in front of players at game end are worth nothing

The points table
This makes for some interesting situations,
as we find players usually collect a
monopoly of certain terrain cards so he/she has the edge over the rest, and then lays down their route in quick succession, gathering a lot of points.
So its worthwhile to take two random terrain cards to stop players cashing in on monopoly situations I think.

Madagascar route(s)
Madagascar Destination:
Madagascar has 2 locations on the map; Tickets to Madagascar can be completed by reaching either of these 2 locations, even if the other location isn't reached. 

A 10 point Globetrotter bonus is also awarded to the player who completed the most destination tickets during the game.

Also there are 3 off table destinations on the top of the map being Nigeria, Sudan and Tchad.

Example of Country destination cards

Ticket to ride: Heart of Africa is another great addition to this game, I like the look of the map, and use of terrain cards to gain more points, only downside would it may slow game-play down a little and can guess sometimes where certain players are heading.

A quick Review of Ticket To Ride - Asia map's

This expansion pack offers 2 games in one as the game map has two sides - with one being the Legendary Asia map, and the other being Team Asia map

Legendary Asia map
The Legendary Asia map is a 2 - 5 player game with another unique twist on it. It introduces "mountain mechanic" to the game. Mountain routes can cause a lot of wear and tear to the trains that travel them, so in game terms where upon if any routes have an X symbol on them, when you score the route you have to place an additional train piece in the mountain space area on the board - so if your route is two spaces long but both of them has X symbols you will have to spend 4 pieces to claim it. As you can see the game can be rather short if you head over the mountains as you will be running low on pieces rather quickly.

The mountain deposit box

Very busy in this area - lots of mountain areas
The up side to claiming mountain routes is that you will gain an additional 2 points per piece that is in the designated area at the end of the game. This version also has as with the original Europe game - long destinations tickets and the regular tickets, at the start you get one long and three regular and must keep two of them. As always you can pick more as the game proceeds.

Lots of Ferry routes to Japan and Korea

The other map (on the reverse side of Legendary map) is a team play map - only played it a  few times as its hard to find opponents willing to play some times. You can have up to 2 teams of 3 OR 3 teams of 2 play each other, each team should sit next to each other so team members play in succession. Players split their train pieces into even piles between them - they also score points together using the same colour score tracker piece.
Team play map
Very busy area around minor Asia - expecially if you get your
team mate to claim the other double route along side yours ...

Teammates on the same team also share 2 cardholders (one for their team’s common Train cards, the other for their common Tickets), placing them in front of them, within easy reach of one another. During play, teammates cannot table talk ! I am not very good at this part.

Train Cards
At game start, each player receives 4 Train cards, as in a regular game of Ticket to Ride, keeping them for themselves; their common Train cards cardholder remaining empty. During the game, when a player chooses to draw Train cards, he must place one in his hand and the other in his team’s cardholder. When a player draws the first card, he must immediately decide whether to add it to his hand or share it with his teammate by placing it in the common cardholder. The second card he draws must then go to his other location (hand or cardholder). If the player chooses to draw a single face-up Locomotive, he must place it in the common
cardholder. To claim a route, a player may use any combination of Train cards from his hand and/or those in his team’s cardholder.

Destination Tickets
This expansion includes 60 Destination Tickets. At game start, each player is dealt, in secret from all
others including his teammate, 5 Destination Tickets. He must keep at least 3 of these Tickets. Once both
teammates have selected their Tickets, they must simultaneously place 1 in the team’s common Tickets cardholder. Each team thus has 2 Tickets shared at game start. All other Tickets still in players’ hands must remain secret. During the game, if a player wishes to draw additional Destination Tickets, he draws 4 new Tickets, of which he must keep at least 1. The player then places 1 of these newly kept Tickets into his team’s common Tickets cardholder, keeping the others secret from his teammate.

Sharing Additional Tickets
During the game, a player may use his whole turn to place up to 2 Destination Tickets in his hand onto the common Tickets cardholder, to share information with his teammate. The player cannot do anything else this turn.

Double and Triple Routes
In 4 Player games only, once one of the tracks of a double-route is claimed,
the other route becomes unavailable to all players. One exception: Both tracks
of the double-route from Hong Kong to Canton remain open even when there
are only 4 players.
The map of Asia also contains some triple routes. In 4 Player games, only 2 of these 3 tracks may be claimed, though both players on a same team may decide to claim one each, effectively blocking off the other team.

The tunnel routes have numbers on them - this is the required amount of drawn
cards you have to draw when claiming a tunnel route
Tunnel Routes
In Asia, tunnels play much like they do in Ticket to Ride Europe, where they were first introduced. The only difference is that in the Himalayas the number of Train cards drawn from the top of the deck is higher, varying from 4 to 6. Tunnels are special routes identified by the special black Tunnel markings that
surround each of their spaces along the route. When attempting to claim a Tunnel route, a player first lays down the number of cards required. Then the top 4 to 6 cards (as dictated by the number on that particular Tunnel route) from the Train Car card draw pile are turned face-up. For each card revealed whose color
matches the color used to claim the Tunnel (including locomotives), an additional card of the same color (or a locomotive) must be played from either his own hand or his shared team cards to successfully claim the Tunnel. If the player does not have enough additional Train Car cards of matching color (or does not wish to play them), he may take all his cards back into his hand, and his turn ends. The Train Car cards revealed for the Tunnel are discarded.

When any one team’s combined stock of colored plastic trains gets down to 4 trains or less at the end of a player’s turn, each player, including that player, gets one final turn. The game then ends and teams calculate their final scores. A 10 point Asian Express bonus is awarded to the team with the Longest Continuous Path on the board. A 10 point Globetrotter bonus is awarded to the team who has completed the most Destination Tickets. If 2 teams are tied for a bonus, they both score it.

So another great map with some good twists to make for some fun games.

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